Unpronounceable. Incomprehensible. Superfoods have been hitting headlines for years, with lists of produce you’ve never heard of and couldn’t draw in a game of Pictionary. But not all foods (even the super ones) are born equal. Packed full of nutrients, vitamins, and promising a plethora of health benefits, these are the everyday ‘superfood’ heroes of the kitchen cupboard that you need to know about.
Some children were told all sorts of horror stories about the dangers of swallowing watermelon seeds (trees sprouting inside can be a real, tangible fear to toddlers). But all jokes aside, these seeds are making their way onto the plate of many a health-conscious diner. Packed full of vitamin B, magnesium, and protein, they can be eaten the same way as sunflower seeds are – as a snack or sprinkled across salads for an added crunch.
This is hardly a novel addition to any diet, but if you are ever looking for a reason to eat chocolate – you’re welcome. One of the best natural sources of antioxidants, dark chocolate in its natural form can prove a great source of fibre, iron, and copper. It’s also said to lower the risk of heart disease, and the best part? This superfood is known to boost endorphins and improve your mood, so really there’s no better excuse to stop the hanger than with a bar of the good stuff because really, chocolate makes you a better person. Fact.
Not only is this superfood a vampire deterrent, but research shows that the inclusion of garlic in a diet can be beneficial in preventing heart disease. Arguably, it’s not the best item to order on a menu on a first (or second) date, but there’s no stopping you from nibbling on a side order of garlic bread among friends – in the name of health, of course. Just don’t try and preserve your own as garlic left in oil can become toxic and is a known cause of botulism, which causes weakness, blurred vision, and fatigue. But don’t worry, as store bought variations have been treated to prevent this – phew!
The flowers from an elderberry are most commonly seen distilled in cordials and syrups, but its traditional medicinal use treats all manner of ailments, from chesty coughs to cold and flu symptoms, thanks to its naturally occurring antiviral properties. Cordials and cocktail infusions are likely filled with sugar or artificial sweeteners, so should be used sparingly, but as they’re readily available, they are still a great source for making yourself a sweet treat with a purpose.
These fungi can bring a serious hit of nutrition to your meal, although we acknowledge they are a particularly polarising food group – falling strictly in the ‘love’ or ‘hate’ category, with little by way of middle ground. Mushrooms are packed full of vitamin B and copper, and, thanks to their high water content, they are also likely to keep you fuller for longer and make you less likely to reach for that 4pm snack. Bonus!